Sunday, October 5, 2014

Nightcap 10/5/14 Random New York Film Festival odds and ends

This was going to be a deep discussion of the New York Film Festival but things have gone sideways so instead I’m going to run a few loose ends that don’t belong anywhere concerning the festival.
First while there haven’t been a ton of pictures here at Unseen our Tumblr account has tons. Go there for lots of pictures from the various events we’ve attended. Go there is you want to see pictures of stars and directors/
Someone asked me why was I running pictures from press conferences and the public screenings and not stills from the film. I told them the reason is I’m trying to give a sense of what it’s like at the screenings. The stars and directors were there and since I was there I thought you’d want to see some of what I saw. I could run the stills and the posters but that would make the posts the same as all the others.
There is a level of cruelty to dogs that’s in a couple of films at the festival. In Maps of the Stars an old English sheep dog walks on screen only to get shot two seconds later as part of a cruel and unfunny joke (then again the whole movie isn’t funny). And in Saint Laurent we watch as a dog takes a trip and then OD’s. I wouldn’t care but the dogs are brought in just to die. Yea I know they really didn’t but each moment is a part of major mirth.

Here's to hoping no more dog deaths
I’m both amused and annoyed with the way smoking is portrayed in many recent films set in a semi recent period. Not only is it clear that many of the people with cigarettes are not smokers (look at how people in Saint Laurent and Pasolini hold their cigarettes) but there is this weird fetishistic framing of cigarettes with in the shots as if they are the focus of the story and not the characters. It’s so bad that we’re now getting to hear the sound of the burning tobacco with each drag amplified.

I’m not against the inclusion of the smoking in the films, I mean people smoked more in those days then they do now, but they never smoked as its portrayed, nor in the numbers we see. It’s not natural, it’s weird. Weirder than even smoking fetish porn
The joy of live events and the answer to why you need to go to the New York Film Festivals screenings occurred Thursday night. No I’m not talking about the argument between the audience and Abel Ferrara, I’m talking about the fleeting, funny as all hell transformation of Willem Dafoe into Mussolini. Ferrara said that Dafoe didn’t become Pasolini until he decided to play him, any more than he wouldn’t be Mussolini until he got before the camera. Dafoe then proceeded to whip through Mussolini-isms to roars of laughter.

It’s the magic of the Q&As.

I know I reviewed it already but if you can go see John Boorman’s Queen and Country.

One of the best films at the festival is not getting the right promotion. You really need to see this film because it’s great.
What’s the mid fest tally of Best and worst films so far?

Silvered Water Syria Self Portrait
Non Fiction Diary
Queen and Country
Look of Silence
Blue Room

Goodbye to Language
Maps of the Stars

50 Year Argument

As for the best and worst experiences-it's all been a blast so far. I'm pissed that the Look of Silence premiere was poorly attended but other than that the physical act of being at this years festival has been fun.
I there is one thing I’m unhappy about with the New York Film Festival is that I bought a package of tickets which also got me first shot at picking my tickets and all of the seats I purchased are at the back of Alice Tully Hall.


Its not right, especially since I bought tickets for other shows after the fact and those seats were half the theater closer. Other than being assured a seat why would I bother ever buy another package?
As this posts I’m in the middle of a 16 hour day at the festival and getting ready for a busy day of work and long night at the festival tomorrow. Look for reports on today and tomorrow (that’s 6 events) during the week- before New York Comic Con Starts.
This week is more New York Film Festival- however look for reviews of two new films not part of the festival tomorrow.
And because good stuff can't wait here's Randi's links

On John's Pizza in Times Square
What happens when someone dies on a plane
Herzog's Rogue Film School
Liam Neeson's Kills
Kinetic Rain
Star Wars as Children's Books
The Chinese bootleg Star Wars comic

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